Christmas is coming!

Hello everyone

In all the excitement about getting my ornaments done and general busyness I forgot to post about my blogaversary which was actually on the 4th Dec.

I have been busy with Suffolk puffs this week making myself a little wreath from them with a ring I bought from Harrogate. I do love Suffolk puffs, they are so easy to make and look so pretty, here’s more inspiration for me for future makes.I love that pale wreath.

Anyway as is traditional now I am going to do a giveaway for some Xmas ornaments, but I am going to vary it a little. I have been thrilled that so many people have chosen to follow my blog, now have 183 followers which is fantastic, so thank you everyone, I am very honoredūüôā

Therefore I have decided to do a random number giveaway to one of my lovely followers, if you are not already a follower and want to join in the please do so and I will choose one of you on Weds 14th Dec by the miracles of the random number generator to send some ornaments to.

Take care and thanks for visiting and see you again soon.

 

Fabulous folding

Hello everyone, how are your Christmas crafting preparations going? Mine have got back up to speed thankfully with a couple of intensive sewing sessions over the last two weekends and I now have the majority of my ornaments made, just in time for the 1st of Dec!

I have made a cathedral window ornament and am very pleased with it. I would have two to show you but the second one is still a work in progress as it was so thick once I had finished folding that it jammed the machine three times then broke the needle so I am hand sewing it.

The first one I made turned out very well. I used this tutorial from Moda Bakeshop , it does use up a lot of fabric, but then I do have a lot of Xmas fabricūüėČ and found it very easy to follow.

I also looked for some quicker ornament designs for presents and came across this lovely one which I remembered seeing a while ago. There is a very clear step by step video tutorial here by Crouton Crackerjacks and they are very simple to make.

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I stuffed mine with wadding which I did by making a little slit in the back which is why I have a ribbon rose at the back as well as on the front to cover that up.

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I already had some of the ribbon flowers in my stash but ordered some more from this Ebay seller.She has some gorgeous pastel coloured ones as well.

 

We had a lovely time at Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show, Ellie, Kerry and I were very restrained, I only bought 1 metre of Christmas fabric, some of which I have already used on some more folded ornaments, a few Christmas ribbons and some very cute buttons.

I also bought some little wooden bobbins to cover with fabric. I am going to make some glass jar sewing sets complete with pincushion tops for Sarah’s stall for next September at Yarndale, (planning ahead!), and am collecting jars to do that. Some will be jam and pickle jars but I have also bought these from the wonderful Chinese shop in Spain.They have all sorts of cute storage for less than a Euro apiece.

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However these look so good on my shelf in the craft room they might have to stay, the other one is full of my ribbons with sewing themes.

I am off to stay with Ellie this weekend as we have our re-enactment group meeting on Sunday so we are going to go and visit a few Christmas themed events while we are in Worksop. She has promised me a visit to a Christmas tree festival at Worksop Priory and a visit to Hardwick Hall where she used to work to see the decorations there. So I will come home all festive ready to finish off the last few of mine.

I have the next two weekends at home after that so will be decorating my house then having some quality stitching time on the sofa with lots of TV and cups of tea to keep me going.it has been such a busy term and I am so glad things are calming down, my poor sewing room has been sadly neglected!

I hope that you have a very nice weekend and I will see you soon for another post, there may just be more pictures of ornaments! Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

 

A tale of two villages

Hello again

I am amusing myself after a very snowy day again earlier this week and torrential rain and flooding today thinking of happy sunny times in Spain so thought that I would add the rest of my photos from Tabarca.

At the other end of this little island from the wild rocky cost is a little village, just 4 streets at the side of the church, with some really pretty little houses, I took lots of pictures of the windows and doors.

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This was a house that has been turned into an art gallery, lots of inspiration for arty shots.

And there was some lovely crochet in the window of this door.A beautiful place and one I would love to go back to. They do have hostels and rental properties so would love to do that one day as a mini holiday within a holiday.

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The other little village is my growing collection of house pin cushions, have not made any for a while but have quite a few now. Not certain yet where they are ending up but for now they are just populating the craft room.

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Have really enjoyed choosing different fabric and buttons and flowers for these from my stash. Added the cute button headed pins to some as well.Apologies for shadows in the photos, the light was not good this weekend.

The fabric flowers come from some braid that I have cut into individual flowers. So cute! Have just had an order of very lovely flower buttons for the next lot of houses but those will have to wait until the ornaments have been done.

I have made the cathedral window ornament and several folded ones so will show you that next post. Ellie and I are of to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show this weekend so looking forward to that and will try to be good and not buy fabric!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Here’s one I made earlier

Hello everyone

Hope that you have all had a nice week. I am settling in to the new role at work and am enjoying all of the new modules I am teaching. As I mentioned previously I have been doing some travelling for work and while in Liverpool recently went to the cathedral to see the Elizabeth Hoare Gallery.

The reason why I wanted to visit was that many years ago, about 10 I think but it could be longer, I did a piece of goldwork from a magazine which was taken from this collection. I was very pleased with this Tudor Rose design, my first major piece of goldwork and it sits on my mantelpiece. It took about 50 hours to stitch.

I promised myself then that I would visit the collection, well it has taken a while but is so worth it. The collection was started to preserve Victorian and Edwardian ecclesiastical goldwork and has always been housed at the cathedral.

What makes it very special is that when the cathedral was being built a group was formed to make all the things for the cathedral and those are also displayed there. So unlike other places where you don’t know who made the items it has all been documented.

There are also some lovely samples showing how the items were made and this silks case, complete with stitched colour names on each of the pockets.

The piece I made was taken from this beautiful altar frontal which you can see in its full size at the back of the case in the second photo.I think it looks absolutely stunning in the green velvet.I am very pleased with my version as well.

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There were so many other wonderful pieces, altar frontals, copes, chalice covers, you name it all of the glory that is church stitching was there. An absolutely wonderful collection.I am very pleased that made it there at last and plan to take Ellie there one day.

I have not been doing anything much for the last few weeks but plan to get cracking this weekend on the ornaments, am thinking of doing cathedral window ones.

I have found a couple of tutorials like this one here  and this one and some fab inspiration from Pinterest such as this one using vintage linen from Jo at MyBearPaw.

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Look at this gorgeous idea as well. Hope I can make something as lovely as this from Quilt Maven.

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Will report back on progress! Hope that you all have a lovely weekend.
Thanks for visiting.

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside….

Hello everyone

I have come back very brown and happy from a lovely week in Spain with my Mum, a brilliant winding down week consisting mainly of sleeping, reading and walks along the beach with not only paddles but one actual swim in the sea.It was very warm all week, in the high 20s so I wore shorts for most of the time and now actually have brown legs for the first time ever in my life.

We went on a boat trip to the island of Tabarca on one of our days out, I have been a few times before and love it, it is a tiny island about 3 miles from the mainland which was fortified during the 1700s so has the remains of the walls and a little fort.The sea was such a wonderful colour.

It is a very different landscape to the mainland beaches with lots of rocky inlets and sea grass that has dried into huge clumps on the beach, very much like the Cornish coast and there are some great views and walks at the uninhabited end of the island.

This was the little graveyard right at the end of the island. At the other end near the village is the church, we have never been able to go in it as it has been being restored every time we have visited over the last 10 years but it makes a very imposing sight at the edge of the island and the stone looks amazing next to the sky and sea.

We stopped for a coffee so I got the chance to take an arty shot of these stools outside the bar.Love the colours against the sea.

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Later on we had lunch overlooking the sea with lots of cute stray cats begging for food, we saved some of our tuna for them and I got a quick picture of another ¬†island stray for you, because there aren’t enough pictures of cats on the internet are thereūüėČ

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We walked along the restored fortified wall to the other end of the island to peek through one of the defensive towers.

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It was such a lovely day with the sun sparkling on the sea, hard to believe that in the UK it was Autumn and it has been a bit of a shock to find myself¬†back in winter time zones with it now getting dark at 5pm. Luckily the festive season is fast approaching, so I seriously need to get my act together with ornament making and I am very glad I have mulled wine and candles to keep me saneūüôā

Also I have all the Christmas events to attend, am really looking forward to spending Christmas with Ellie in Worksop as she has to work on Christmas Day so I get to go to the church service at Clumber Park chapel.

It will be¬†the first time we have been to¬†a Christmas Day service since our trip to Prague in about 2006 when I, ‘persuaded’, the kids to come to Mass with me on Christmas morning. It was a very cold cathedral and the hour and a half service was all in Latin, for some reason they were not inspired to ever let me repeat that experience. I call it character building!

I did sneak a Christmas Eve service in last year in Oslo cathedral which was lovely. Ellie is now quite happy to attend any church service in any country but Jake is still not amused by trying to sing hymns or carols in other languages.

Hope that you all have a very nice week, will be back soon with the Liverpool goldwork pictures and more lovely pincushions! Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

An unexpected bonus

Hello everyone

Hope that you are all well and happy, it has been a very busy few weeks here in lovely, mostly sunny, Yorkshire. Term has started and I have a new role at work, new students, new modules, new teams, in fact it is just like a completely new job except with the advantage that I know where the photocopier is and everyone’s names!

I have been on a roll with the house pincushions and have made 9 so far so will do a post later showing you all the lovely little dwellings – am mildly addicted as usual with anything new and keep dreaming up new fabric combinations, they are just so cute!

A couple of weeks ago Ellie and Kerry came up for a pre -planned fabric viewing outing, we had been meaning to go and explore some of the fab shops round here and look for inspiration for kit for next year.

We visited Fabworks in Dewsbury and the wonderful Bombay Stores in Bradford, the latter an absolute heaven of Asian wedding outfits and gorgeous fabric. There was great excitement as Kerry chose the fabric for her wedding dress, may not have mentioned it but her partner Dave proposed at Caldicot and we are all very thrilled that she said yes. They met at that event 3 years ago so it was very romantic  :-)

Anyway Kerry had suggested going to a Steampunk Fair at Leeds Industrial Museum so not only did we get to look at all the lovely stuff there but the museum celebrates the textile heritage of the area so there were brilliant displays of weaving looms, sewing machines and pattern cutting, just my cup of tea!

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Love to think of those women working at their machines in the heyday of Leeds as a tailoring centre. Pattern cutting being very much a male preserve! Hope they enjoyed what they did as much as we enjoy sewing as a hobby.

Also another unexpected bonus, went to Liverpool last week with work, part of my new role is working across the North of England promoting maths teaching, and found time to visit the Elizabeth Hoare Collection of Ecclesiastical Textiles at Liverpool Cathedral. Have been planning a trip for about 12 years and this is a sneak peak of what wonders are there. Need some time to sort out the 120 plus photos that I took and will post more loveliness!

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Rather gorgeous and I really was very excited, even though I only live an hour away had never been to Liverpool before and want to go back to visit all their  museums. Ellie and I have put it on our to do list for next year.

Am off to Spain again on Friday, Mum says the sea is still warm enough to swim in and the beach beds and umbrellas are still for hire so we will be spending at least one day mellowing with lots of good reading and a picnic.

Take care, see you when I get back and thanks for visiting.

Happiness is scrappiness!

Hope that you all had a lovely weekend, I really enjoyed myself being creative. Much as I love re-enactment I am glad in some ways that the season is over and I have lots more time at home in my lovely craft roomūüôā

I was just playing with my scrap drawer most of the time, I have been very inspired by all the lovely things on my Pinterest board and have lots of left over linen from all my years of making kit for the boys so made a couple of pincushions from linen and some of the left over charm packs. Very pleased that everything here came from my stash, mind you I do have quite a large stash!

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This one is also a scissor holder, again inspiration from Pinterest.

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This one was scraps from the various craft room accessory projects that I have made over the years like the sewing machine cover, needlebook and pincushion. Am quite tempted to keep this as it goes so well with the craft room though am supposed to be making these as gifts.

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I used some of my vintage linen for this one, the motifs come from a lace collar that a friend gave me and the button was also from the collar.

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I have wanted to make a little house pincushion for ages and found a great tutorial here at Retro Mama’s site ¬†that explains how to make them. There are also some beautiful colour combinations here at Craft and Creativity’s website ¬†to inspire you. Look at this loveliness in Tilda fabric and with some cute birds – picture from¬†Helena’s site.

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I have made two so far , using an offcut from the red charm pack square in the previous pincushion for a little window box. The pink and aqua one is definitely staying with me in my craft room !

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I think these are just the cutest things ever and will be making a few more. Jake suggested putting a cat in the window and if I can work out how to cut a cat that small I will.

So many more lovely ideas on my board still left to do, must make a start on the Christmas ornaments soon though, it is nearly October and only have one made so far which is not like me!

Yarndale went very well, Sarah sold lots of books and I sold nearly all the baskets and some of the pincushions. She will be doing another book and stall next year and wants more things from me, especially needlebooks so that gives me plenty of opportunity to get making.

Take care and thanks for visiting.